Is "all one" in Buddhism?

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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby meindzai » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:41 pm

You too! Thank you.

:cheers: <-Ginger ales of course.

-M
"The Dharma is huge." - Rael
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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby Stephen » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:50 pm

Dana wrote:Then how does TNH say this?

"You are me, and I am you."
It can be reasoned out. Human beings are nothing more than their aggregates and the conditions that brought them forth and perpetuate them. It is only in our respective conditioning that we are any different, and we all have the potential to reach the same state of liberation (conditions permitting). That is why there is no "self", and such a statement that "you are me, and I am you" refers to the true selfless nature of a man.
The "self", which is a construct of the mind, is non-self. It is not us, and we are not it. This self blinds us to reality; it is our Mara, our Satan, our Hades. Cast it out and behold the path to freedom.
(Visit http://www.BodhiBox.com for a free Buddhist e-mail account, while you're still attached to the 'net...)
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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby Dana » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:07 pm

"You are me, and I am you."
It can be reasoned out.

If one has a theistic view it will be reasoned out in a theistic way.
Oh, well.
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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby Aemilius » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:52 pm

Luke wrote:One of the popular phrases in the New Age books out there is "all is one."

In my opinion, this is too horribly imprecise to be considered a Buddhist statement without clarifying the terms involved. I have a friend who is interested in various New Age books and philosophies and this idea of "all is one" and "all religions are really one" seems to be the core of her spirituality, and she was quite shocked when I didn't immediately agree with her.

To me, this "all is one" concept seems to be really some generalized idea about "god" which is reexpressed as some kind of eternal essence (like the Hindu concept of "atman" which Buddhism clearly denies).

My discussion about this with my friend made me realize how truly unique Buddhism is among world religions. Most religions are theistic or at least believe in some absolute concept. Buddhism is one of the very few nontheistic religions in the world, and negating the concept of an atman using emptiness seems to be at the very heart of Buddhism.

What do you think? To what extent is the statement "all is one" true in Buddhism?

All I can think of is that we are all united by cause and effect and that the true nature of our minds is vast like space, although our mindstreams are independent. "Merging oneself with god" and "Merging oneself with the universal mind" are not Buddhist concepts as far as I know. This fact seems to shock a lot of New Age people because they have little idea what Buddhism really is.



I think Nagarjuna discusses this theme in his Mula Madhyamaka Karika in chapter 14. , which is here in Stephen Batchelor's excellent translation
http://stephenbatchelor.org/verses2.htm
That is to say the whole work is available there, not just chapter 14.
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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby meindzai » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:08 pm

Dana wrote:"You are me, and I am you."
It can be reasoned out.

If one has a theistic view it will be reasoned out in a theistic way.
Oh, well.


True, though it depends on the brand of theism. A true monotheist, without any mystical inclinations, would find the idea heretical. Clearly there is meant to be a division between man and God. You get closer to God by following his law, but you're still somebody else.

Early Christianity was, I think, more akin to a Vedic atman/Brahman type thing, but seeing as this type of thinking is a threat to institutions like Churches(if everybody is God then who needs the church?), it was more or less sabotoged and the teachings wittled down to monotheism again. So out of the dozens of original gospels you ended up with the four that you could tack onto the end of the Old Testament.

It seems that a lot of people today though are more interested in the mystical or contemplative type of Theisms, so the "all is one" teaching is more approachable. Thus their attraction to Buddhist teachings of this sort.

It's a very "safe" teaching. Somewhere between monotheism and non-theism. If you end up at the pearly gates and they're trying to figure out whether or not to let you in, you can say "well I sort of believed in a God sort of thing. That's ok right?" But if you want to look good in front of your scientifically minded atheists friends, you can tell them you don't really believe in that silly God, but you can prattle on about interconnectedness and how our bodies decompose and turn into dirt and the dirt becomes trees, etc., and talk about "quantum" stuff and sound really smart. Ever notice how everybody has turned into a physicist in the last decade or so?

-M
"The Dharma is huge." - Rael
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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby mudra » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:52 am

meindzai wrote:
Dana wrote: Ever notice how everybody has turned into a physicist in the last decade or so?

-M


Yo M - physics, religion. It's all one.
cheers. M
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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby meindzai » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:36 pm

mudra wrote:
meindzai wrote:
Dana wrote: Ever notice how everybody has turned into a physicist in the last decade or so?

-M


Yo M - physics, religion. It's all one.
cheers. M


Touche!

:rolling:

-M
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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby Anders » Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:01 pm

Oneness strikes me as a part of Buddhism. It's something you'll probably experience if you go deep enough and not necessarily something to be poo-poo'ed as the teachings of outsiders, as it denotes significant progress.

That said, it also has characteristics (that mark of oneness), hence is empty of actual existence and not the final goal.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby meindzai » Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:06 pm

Anders Honore wrote:Oneness strikes me as a part of Buddhism. It's something you'll probably experience if you go deep enough and not necessarily something to be poo-poo'ed as the teachings of outsiders, as it denotes significant progress.


Yes and even with respect to outsiders, I have enourmous respect for those mystics (Hindu, Christian, Sufi, etc.) who have had this level of realization.

-M
"The Dharma is huge." - Rael
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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby Anders » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:02 pm

Dana wrote:"You are me, and I am you."
It can be reasoned out.

If one has a theistic view it will be reasoned out in a theistic way.
Oh, well.


Nicely worded and also demonstrates the pitfalls of having any viewpoint, be it theistic, Buddhist or otherwise.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby Anders » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:14 pm

meindzai wrote:Yes and even with respect to outsiders, I have enourmous respect for those mystics (Hindu, Christian, Sufi, etc.) who have had this level of realization.

-M


Definitely. And just to go all One on you guys, I'll bring up what I think is a noteworthy approach the Buddha took when analysing the shortcomings of other teachers: He could of course just have brought up the parts of his teaching that are unique to Buddhism: Dependent Origination, for example. But he didn't do that, preferring instead to analyse them along the lines of 'though they teach the cessation of craving, clinging etc.' they do not teach the full extent of craving, clinging, etc (that leads to total liberation).

It's an approach that belies a outlook that we're all one the same path of freeing ourselves from suffering and it's 'only' a question of getting the parts right (right view) and going deep enough (this latter part strikes me as being more important than right view in the process, so no reason to why one shouldn't respect yogins of any kind who do go deep within their tradition), so the extent that other traditions get the parts right, to that extent they are also praiseworthy as 'Buddhist' (awakening-ist) paths.

That said, flipping back to the perspective of differentiation, I am not really sold on the view that all paths inevitably get the parts right. From what I can tell, it seems to generally not be the case. Then again, I'm not enlightened to know for sure. And I do believe there's more to be gained from a purely practical perspective to immerse oneself in one particular tradition than to float around taking in inspiration from all kinds of paths and religions (although that is a phase that can have its merits in itself on the spiritual path).
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Is "all one" in Buddhism?

Postby Dana » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:14 pm

Anders Honore wrote:Oneness strikes me as a part of Buddhism. It's something you'll probably experience if you go deep enough and not necessarily something to be poo-poo'ed as the teachings of outsiders, as it denotes significant progress.

That said, it also has characteristics (that mark of oneness), hence is empty of actual existence and not the final goal.


Yes,
That oneness, unity, not two, a whole.
Just how things are and what some explain as 'the source' or God due to lack of other explanations and where most seekers stop.

D
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